Santa Maria: between plains and inlets
The island of Santa Maria is separated from the island of Razzoli by a stretch of sea called the Asinelli pass. Crossing this stretch of coast you are surrounded by the lands that emerge majestically from the sea but in perfect harmony.
The flat nature of the island allows the eye to wander along the profile of the coasts and to enjoy the coves and beaches that are located along the ten kilometers of coastline. Among these we point out in particular Cala di Fosso and Cala Santa Maria, which are located south of the island and are the largest. Here, too, the fine white sand contrasts with the colors of the water.
The highest point of the island is the peak of Guardia del Turco which rises up to just 49 m in height. From here you can see the ancient granite rocks, the lighthouse of Punta Filetto and the birds of rare species that fly up, plowing the sky that mirrors the sea and its colors.
The Island of Santa Maria is the site of our second stop, the descent directly to the beach and the search for the perfect shot to capture the landscape in the shots.
Santa Maria: a special island in the Archipelago of La Maddalena
There are several elements that make Santa Maria particularly precious. Its position so close to the Strait of Bonifacio, its flat and fertile soil, the services it offers, make it one of the most coveted and appreciated for tourism.
Despite the small area of only 2 square kilometers, Santa Maria offers many attractions to those who visit it. We will have the pleasure of approaching its waters and bathing in front of the most evocative views, but those who visit it on foot and stay there for a longer time can explore it by discovering other unforgettable points. Inside the island there are several paths that cross the dense Mediterranean scrub.
These allow you to come across the ruins of an ancient Benedictine monastery dating back to the first half of the 1200s. In Santa Maria, history has its roots in the marine environment, and it is a pleasure to look at, a unique emotion.
Continuing to walk on another panoramic path you arrive at Punta Filetto and the lighthouse from which you can observe the open sea, the smaller islets and the beaches of cala Santa Maria and cala di Fosso. The island is home to a small and luxurious restaurant service, houses serving as summer residences and other attractions that offer the opportunity to fully experience the sea and its activities.
The unspoiled nature of Santa Maria
The characteristic environment of the island of Santa Maria is that typical of the rest of the archipelago of La Maddalena. The sea is the undisputed prince, and the crystalline depths welcome a rich marine fauna that diving enthusiasts will appreciate with joy.
The shallow and sandy bottoms are another peculiarity. Their emergence creates tongues of sand that act as natural passages. Thus, "walking on the sea" on the Asinelli Pass it is possible to reach the island of Razzoli to the east and the islet of La Presa to the north, separated by the Strangolato pass. Behind the Cala di Santa Maria, the largest in the archipelago, about 200 meters long, there is a brackish water lake, called the Palude, habitat of species of water birds such as hen and mallards. The rest of the territory is flat and contains a good percentage of land planted with vines.
History and curiosity
The amazing beauty of Santa Maria has made a furore in the hearts of those who have known it over the centuries. Historically, the first to inhabit it, according to historical sources, were the Benedictine monks who erected a convent on this strip of land in 1200.
In ancient times Santa Maria, Budelli and Razzoli were all known under the single name of Isole dei Budelli. This name derives from the way in which the sand channels between one island and another were identified, those tongues of sand that can still be traveled today. The signs of faith are still perceptible, not only in the ruins of the monastery, but also in the small church of the Assumption where a single annual mass is celebrated, on the day of August 15th.
But these emerald coasts have not only attracted men of faith. After the abandonment of the island by the monks who practiced isolation and prayer there, the convent building passed into the hands of the Bertoleoni family at the end of the 18th century. The same family later colonized the island of Spargi as well.
Currently there are about twenty houses on the island, but only one family lives there permanently. Some of these houses are the summer residences of artists and celebrities. For example, the Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni owns a house that overlooks Cala di Santa Maria.
Traveling aboard Lady Luna 2 you will have the opportunity to grasp all the gradations of the sea and every aspect of the history of this land.